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Memory of a Region or Region of Memory: Collective Memory in the Regional Dimension of Contemporary Russia

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Abstract. The proposed discussion focuses on the issue of collective memory and its utilisation in the shaping of Russian regional policy. Following the ideas of Pierre Nora, as well as those who reflects on his research framework, such as Tony Judt, Alexey Miller, Vladimir Shnirelman and others, the authors of the rubric consider the shaping of regional memory basing on the examples of various regions of contemporary Russia, assuming the folding of memorial representations as a process in which different social/political/ cultural groups and actors are involved, sharing identities of different levels. Using discursive analysis along with other methods of studying collective memory, referring to narratives of various types — journalistic, artistic, official — the authors of the articles presented in the discussion consider the regional politics of memory as a developing practice, which nature, mechanisms and forms are determined by the political situation in the regions and at the macro-level. At the same time, the authors of the materials demonstrate the eclectic nature of the synthesis of commemorations of different periods of Russian history. The authors of the discussion also undertake a theoretical intervention aimed to trace the status of the memory studies themselves, whose adherents, in the context of an interdisciplinary synthesis, make attempts to determine the place of memory studies in the system of disciplines about society. At the same time, they turn to the most neglected aspects of memory studies such as the “silence of memory”, discursive practices in the study of collective memory, the role of marginalized groups, such as immigrants, in the shaping of memorial narratives. In the discussion, therefore, an attempt is made to comprehend the relationship between regional and national politics of memory that opens up new opportunities for both regional studies and the study of the politics of memory itself.

Keywords: collective memory, regional policy, memory policy, commemorations, memory studies, national memory policy.

For citation: Anikin D.A., Linchenko A.A., Ovchinnikov A.V., Pavlovskaia A.Yu., Pavlovskii A.F. Memory of a Region or Region of Memory: Collective Memory in the Regional Dimension of Contemporary Russia, in Novoe Proshloe / The New Past. 2023. No. 2. Pp. 164–226. DOI 10.18522/2500 3224 2023 2-164-226.

The article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).

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